First Kayak Recommendations?

My grown son is interested in buying his first kayak. He’ll be recreational kayaking in Sarasota Bay and is not planning on any sea kayaking. He’s 5’10" and about 130#.

He’s leaning toward a SOT for stability and ease of exit/entry, but is open to suggestions.

He’s only kayaked once on a rental SOT. Our storage and portage space is limited, so maybe around 12’?

What do you recommend?



– Last Updated: Sep-05-15 4:19 PM EST –

what you mean by sea kayaking. Sarasota Bay is clearly protected, but it is also salty.

If you are talking about distance from shore, how far off would he go, like to that barrier island I see? And what kind of winds does Sarasota Bay get? To me those things answer the question about what features he needs in a boat.

There is also a lot of opportunity for more open water paddling. Granted the marine forecast I just checked is pretty tepid against where I spend a lot of my summer, but I have to ask if he would really stay on the farm (in the bay) once he had his own boat. My husband I didn't, getting slapped once was why we went out and got proper sea kayaks.

In Fla I would choose a SOT.

– Last Updated: Sep-05-15 4:37 PM EST –

Something like an RTM Disco with good speed and seaworthiness for its size.
There are 3 dealers in Florida.

No simple answer
He should do a few local kayak tours as there are many offered in that area and probably search out an intro kayaking class. Then he will have a better idea of what floats his boat… touring, ocean play, fishing, whatever.

And the more rental/guided touring he does, the better the chance he won’t screw up with his first boat purchase (like so many of us have).

Happy Hunting.